Conference Center Planned for Hall of Fame

Verizon ArenaThe Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame is seeking to complete work on a conference center in the Verizon Arena in North Little Rock. Here are key points about the project:

  1. On Dec. 5, the Economic Development Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce awarded $1 million for the construction of a conference center adjacent to the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame Museum in the Verizon Arena at North Little Rock.
  2. Construction of the conference center will, in essence, finish out the arena. It will be in unused space under the stands that originally was intended for a basketball practice court.
  3. The cost of the conference center is $2.239 million. The conference center will be operated by the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame, which currently is working to raise the remaining funds. About $700,000 must still be raised. Verizon Arena will cater events in the conference center.
  4. The center will accommodate 500 people for a seated dinner and 750 people for a reception. The center will be designed so space can be divided for smaller meetings.
  5. Verizon Arena is considered a statewide facility, and the state of Arkansas already has a significant investment in the arena. $20 million was appropriated by the state in 1997 to help complete the arena.
  6. The conference center will cover 12,200 square feet. The adjacent Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame covers 13,975 square feet. The Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame Museum opened in April 2007 following a $4 million capital campaign.
  7. More than 330 men and women have been inducted into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame since the first induction banquet in 1959.
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